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Holy Family Catholic Primary School

Our Class Saint



Saint Josephine Bakhita.

Pray and God Will Do the Rest: St. Josephine Bakhita - Jen Norton Art Studio

Early childhood

Saint Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born in Sudan, Africa in 1869 into a caring, loving family. Saint Josephine was kidnapped at the age of seven by Arab slave traders who had also kidnapped her older sister. 


Saint Josephine was forced to walk barefoot for 600 miles to the slave market. For the next 12 years she would be bought, sold and given away over a dozen times. She spent so much time in captivity that she forgot her original name.

She was bought by a woman who became her mistress. Her mistress had to travel to Sudan so left Saint Josephine with the Canossian Sisters in Venice, Italy. Saint Josephine heard the Sisters talking about God and learnt about Him, this led to her becoming a Sister. She learnt that true freedom is for you to hope.

Becoming a Sister

Saint Josephine was Baptised on January 9th 1890 by Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto and chose the name Josephine Margaret Fortunata (which is the Latin translation for her Arabic name Bakhita). She also received the sacraments of her first holy communion and confirmation on the same day. 

On December 7th 1893, she joined the Canossian Daughters and three years later, she made her final vows on December 8th 1896. For the next 42 years of her life, she worked as a cook and a doorkeeper at the convent. She also travelled and visited other convents telling her story to other sisters and preparing them for work in Africa. 

In her later years, she began to suffer physical pain and was forced to use a wheelchair. But she always remained cheerful. If anyone asked her how she was, she would reply, "As the master desires."

Becoming a Saint

Saint Josephine Bakhita died on February 8th 1947 and her last words were: "Our Lady, Our Lady!" 

Pope John Paul II beatified her on May 17th 1992, and she was canonised on October 1st 2000.

Saint Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of Sudan and her feast day is celebrated on February 8th.

Saint Josephine Bakhita helps us to remember that everyone's lives are precious.

Written by a Year 5 child.

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